Weekly Round-Up #14
Rina sent this in a while back:
I was wondering…
Would you ever do an article about how the Mother series are seen nowadays in Japan?
Reading through Japanese forums on the internet, it seems like the Mother series is one that has a not very large but extremely faithful set of fans rather than a game everyone knows and likes in general. Similar to the way it is in North America.
Also, it seems like Mother 3 was met with a lot of criticism by gamers in general over here. It’s a far from perfect game, but haters hate on it with such passion!
And just one more thing-is it true the maker of the Pokemon series started making Pokemon games because he wanted to make a game like Mother? If so, it’d be cool to see something about it on this site!
There’s actually not a whole lot to say, but basically it sums up to this: the MOTHER series isn’t a gigantic blockbuster series at all. It’s definitely considered a cult classic (which Itoi even admits here). Apparently Itoi and others even consider it to be an old series that only people in their late 20s and above now are really familiar with, which makes sense given that it was mostly people in that age range who attended the various Giant Mr. Saturn/MOTHER series arcade stuff a year or two back.
Still, for some reason there’s an image outside of Japan that the MOTHER series is huge in Japan. It was well-received and liked and everything, but it’s stuck being a cult favorite more than anything. I think the less-than-expected sales of MOTHER 3 also proved that to Nintendo in 2006.
Also, it’s true that MOTHER 3 is often bashed on Japanese message boards. Maybe it’s just because 2ch is full of negative people, but it definitely hasn’t enjoyed the almost-unified sort of fan support that it has outside of Japan, which is weird because we never got an official translation! Maybe it’s that general neglect that has helped increase its image outside of Japan, I dunno.
Anyway, what makes it weird is that EarthBound and MOTHER 3 are critically acclaimed outside of Japan, but have long been overshadowed and forgotten IN Japan. That’s a generalization, of course, but that’s the impression I’ve gotten over the years of browsing English and Japanese sites.
Speaking of which, there are almost no Japanese fan sites for the MOTHER series out there anymore. There used to be a lot back in the 90s, but now they’re pretty much gone or dead. I’m not really sure of the cause and I don’t know if that’s how it is for other game series in Japan, but it’s an interesting phenomenon at least.
As for the Pokemon connection, I’ve heard all sorts of things, but I’m such a Pokemon un-expert that I shouldn’t say anything on the subject. If it means anything, in my eyes there are only 150 Pokemon. Dagnabbit.
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39 Comments to MOTHER and Japanese Fans
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